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THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE

(excerpts)

Part one
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Chapter I
BASIC RULES


Scope and Objective of the Code
Article 1
The present Code sets forth the rules with the objective to enable
a fair conduct of the criminal proceedings and ensure that no
innocent person be convicted and that a criminal sanction be
imposed on a criminal offender under the conditions provided for
in the Criminal Code and on the basis of legally conducted
proceedings.


Principle of Legality
Article 2
(1) A criminal sanction may be imposed on the perpetrator only
by the competent Court in the proceedings initiated and
conducted in compliance with the present Code.
(2) Freedom and other rights of the accused person may be
limited prior to the rendering of the final judgment, only under
the conditions set forth in the present Code.


Presumption of Innocence and in dubio pro reo
Article 3
(1) A person shall be considered innocent of a crime until his/her
guilt has been established by the final judgment.
(2) Public authorities, media, associations of citizens, public
figures and other persons shall respect the rule referred to in
paragraph 1 of the present Article and shall not violate other
procedural rules, rights of the accused person and the injured
party and the principle of independence of judiciary by their
public statements regarding the criminal proceedings that is in
progress.
(3) The court shall render a decision that is more favourable for
the accused person if once all available evidence are provided
and presented in the criminal proceedings, only a suspicion
remains with respect to the existence of a significant feature of a
criminal offence or as regards facts on which depends an
application of a provision of the Criminal Code or the present
Code.


Rights of Suspects i.e. Accused Persons
Article 4
(1) At the first hearing, the suspects shall be informed about the
criminal offence they are charged with as well as the grounds for
suspicion against them.
(2) Suspects shall be provided with an opportunity to make a
statement regarding all the facts and evidence incriminating them
and to present all facts and evidence in their favour.
(3) During the first hearing, the suspects and the accused parties
shall be informed that they are not obliged to give any statements
whatsoever nor answer the questions they are asked and that all
statements they make may be used as evidence.


Rights of Detained Persons
Article 5
(1) Persons deprived of liberty by a competent public authority
shall be immediately informed in their language or in a language
they understand about the grounds for their apprehension and, at
the same time, informed that they are not obliged to make a
statement, that they have a right to a defence attorney of their
own choice and to request that a person of their choosing be
informed on their deprivation of liberty as well as a diplomatic
consular representative of a state whose nationals they are or a
representative of appropriate international organization if they
are stateless persons or refugees.
(2) Persons deprived of liberty without a judgment shall be
brought immediately before the competent State Prosecutor with
the exception of cases provided for in the present Code.


Ne bis in idem
Article 6
(1) No person shall be tried again for a criminal offence s/he has
already been convicted or acquitted of by a final judgment with
the exception of cases provided for in the present Code.
(2) The prohibition referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall
not prevent the repetition of the criminal procedure in line with
this Code.


Official Language in Criminal Proceedings
Article 7
(1) In criminal proceedings, the official language shall be the
Montenegrin language.
(2) In courts having jurisdiction over the territory in which members
of minority nations and other minority ethnic communities
(hereinafter: minorities) constitute a substantial part of inhabitants,
their respective language shall be in the official use in criminal
proceedings in accordance with law.


Right to Use One’s Own Language in Criminal Proceedings
Article 8
(1) The criminal proceedings shall be conducted in the
Montenegrin language.
(2) Parties, witnesses and other persons participating in the
proceedings shall have the right to use their own language or the
language they understand in the proceedings. If proceedings are
not conducted in a language those persons understand,
interpretation of statements and translation of documents and
other written evidence shall be provided.
(3) Persons referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article shall be
instructed of their right to interpretation, and they may waive that
right if they understand the language in which the proceedings
are being conducted. A note shall be made in the record that the
participants of the proceedings have been so instructed, and their
statement thereto shall also be recorded.
(4) Interpretation shall be entrusted to an interpreter.


Language Used for Presenting Submissions to Courts and for
Remitting Submissions by Courts
Article 9
(1) Complaints, appeals and other submissions shall be filed to
the court in the Montenegrin language.
(2) Persons deprived of liberty may file submissions to the court
in their language or in the language they understand.
(3) Court shall issue summonses, decisions and other writs in the
Montenegrin language.
(4) If the language of a minority is also in the official use in the
court, the court shall deliver writs in that language to persons
belonging to the respective national minority if they have used
that language in the course of the proceedings. Those persons
may request that writs be delivered to them in the Montenegrin
language.
(5) An accused person in detention, a person serving a sentence
or a person against whom a security measure in a medical
institution is being enforced, shall also receive a translation of
the writs referred to in paras. 1 and 3 of this Article in the
language used by this person during the proceedings.


Communication between Courts of Law in the Language That Is
in Official Use in Courts
Article 10
The correspondence and legal assistance between courts shall be
carried out in the Montenegrin language. If a writ is composed in
the language of a minority and it is sent to a court in which that
language is not officially used, a translation into the Montenegrin
language shall be attached.


Prohibition of Use of Force and Extortion of a Confession
Article 11
(1) It shall be forbidden to threaten or exert violence over a
suspect, accused person or another person participating in the
procedure, as well as to extort confession or another statement
from such persons.
(2) No judgment shall be based on any confession or other
statement obtained by extortion, torture or inhuman or degrading
treatment.


Right to Defense
Article 12
(1) Accused persons shall have the right to defend themselves in
person or with the professional assistance of a defence attorney
of their own choice from the ranks of attorneys-at-law.
(2) Accused persons shall have the right to have a defence
attorney present during their hearing.
(3) Prior to the first hearing the accused persons shall be
instructed of their right to retain a defence attorney, to agree with
the defence attorney on the manner of defence and told that a
defence attorney may be present during their hearing. They shall
be cautioned that everything they state may be used as evidence
against them.
(4) If the accused persons do not retain a defence attorney by
themselves, they shall be appointed an ex officio defence
attorney by the court, when stipulated so by the present Code.
(5) Accused persons shall be ensured enough time and
possibilities to prepare their defence.
(6) The suspects shall have the right to a defence attorney in
accordance with the present Code.


Right to Rehabilitation and Compensation of Damages
Article 13
Persons who have been unlawfully or unjustifiably deprived of
liberty of unjustifiably convicted shall have the right to
rehabilitation, the right to compensation of damages from the
state, as well as other rights as stipulated by law.


Instruction on the Rights of Accused Persons or Other
Participants in the Proceedings
Article 14
The court, the State Prosecutor and other public authorities
participating in the proceedings shall instruct the suspects i.e.
accused persons or other participants in the proceedings, who are
likely to omit to perform an action in the proceedings or fail to
exercise their rights because of that, of the rights they are entitled
to pursuant to the present Code as well as of the consequences of
the failure to act.


Right to a Prompt Trial
Article 15
(1) The accused persons shall have the right to be brought before
the court in the shortest possible time and to a prompt trial.
(2) The court shall be obliged to conduct the proceedings without
delays and to prevent all abuses of rights that are vested in
participants in the proceedings.
(3) The duration of detention and other forms of restrictions of
freedom shall be reduced to the shortest necessary time.


Principle of Truth and Fairness
Article 16
(1) The court, State Prosecutor and other public authorities
participating in the criminal proceedings shall truthfully and
completely establish all facts relevant to render a lawful and fair
decision, as well as examine and establish with equal attention
facts that incriminate the accused person and the ones in his/her
favour.
(2) The court shall ensure equal terms to the parties and to the
defence attorney as regards the offering, accessing and presenting
of evidence.


Free Evaluation of Evidence and Legally Invalid Evidence
Article 17
(1) Courts and State Prosecutors shall appraise the existence or
non-existence of facts on which to base their decisions at their
discretion.
(2) Judgments may not be founded on evidence that have been
obtained by violating human rights and fundamental freedoms
guaranteed by the Constitution or by ratified international
treaties or on evidence obtained by violating the criminal
proceedings provisions as well as other evidence obtained
therefrom, nor may such evidence be used in the proceedings.

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